Outback Laughs brings comedy to the bush


Dane Simpson is returning to Brewarrina with fellow comedian Cam Knight as part of the Outback Laughs tour. Photo contributed

Audiences in Bourke, Brewarrina and beyond don’t often get the chance to hear first rate comedians on local stages, so the chance to enjoy a double bill in Brewarrina next month is a rare treat.

Even better is that one of the comedians, Dane Simpson, is almost a local. Dane’s father is from Walgett and although he grew up in Wagga Wagga, he said he still has an affinity for the far west and understands the region’s distinctive humour.

In fact, Dane’s comedy career was born when he was touring with another comedian who has since gone on to become one of Australia’s most sought after funny men – Kev Kapinyeri.

“I was doing the sound for Kev and while we were driving around the far west going from gig to gig, we were sharing stories,” Dane said.

“I was telling him a few about my childhood and my dad and he said that they were very funny and I should think about going on stage.

“That night, we were at a club in Narrabri, and he literally pushed me on stage. I told my joke, got some laughs – and I was hooked,” he said.

Since then, Dane has been crafting a professional career as a stand-up comedian. He has performed on some of the big stages – Melbourne’s Deadly Funny Festival, the Aboriginal Comedy All Stars tour, and Have You Been Paying Attention, among others.

Now, Dane is returning to perform in Brewarrina, alongside fellow comedian Cam Knight, who is also carving out a name for himself on the live comedy circuit.

“I want to introduce audiences to really good comedians and give people the opportunity to have a laugh and some fun,” he said.

“Comedy is not something you get enough of out in the bush, and I see it as a two-way thing – the audience gets to have a laugh and a great night out and the comedians get to experience the humour and the amazing people and places out here.

“I want to build this into a regular tour, where comedians can come out and the local people know they’ll be good.

“I started the Riverina Comedy Club five years ago in Wagga and that’s been really successful. People know that whoever is performing, whether they are well known or not, they’ll be great.

“I want to build that trust with the audience, and I’d love to do that on a regular basis out here in places like Brewarrina and Bourke,” he said.

Dane and Cam will be performing at the Brewarrina RSL on July 7 as part of their Outback Laughs tour, which takes in Nevertire, Walgett and Coonamble.